The Sunday Creek Reconfiguration Project (the Project) has recently been funded by the Australian and Victorian governments and will be delivered in partnership with Goulburn-Murray Water.
The Project will provide a more water efficient and cost-effective irrigation system by delivering water directly to Sunday Creek. Currently, irrigation water is delivered from the Murray River via Lake Moodemere.
Approximately 40 per cent of this diverted water is lost to seepage and evaporation before it is extracted by irrigators. This Project will reduce these water losses, improve water security for the future, and better support the ecological values of the lake.
Key design features of the Project include:
- A new purpose built 36ML/day electric pump station to extract water from the Murray River
- A direct pipeline to transfer water from the pump station to Sunday Creek
- A new embankment at Hells Gate, allowing Sunday Creek and Lake Moodemere to operate independently of each other
- Decommissioning the old pump station and replacing the existing Lake Moodemere regulator on the Murray River
We have been privileged to hear from user groups during our extensive planning activities and understand the importance of the lake to the Rutherglen community.
The project includes funding for new community facilities to support the changes implemented by the Project. The project also has a commitment to ensuring an operating regime for the lake that provides for ongoing community use, including the annual January regatta.
We look forward to meeting with user groups and community as we prepare the Project to start work in late 2022.
Why change is needed
While a range of year-round recreational activities have evolved around the high-water levels in Lake Moodemere, this has been driven by an inefficient supply of irrigation water which impacts on the lake’s biodiversity values and costs to irrigators.
With water being such a precious natural resource, a more efficient and cost-effective way of delivering water is needed. This project will reduce water losses and improve water security, in turn supporting local businesses and the economy into the future.
A more reliable, efficient, and cost-effective irrigation supply
In bypassing Lake Moodemere, the Project provides greater security of future water supply. Water is such a precious natural resource, and the Project will reduce the 40% of diverted irrigation water currently being lost in transit through Lake Moodemere by installing a direct pipeline to deliver irrigation water.
Regional economic growth and sustainability
Increased water security provides an opportunity for the irrigators to grow their businesses, which will have a flow-on benefit to a range of regional businesses and services.
Improved ecological outcomes
The Project will allow the diversity of the Lake Moodemere wetland complex to be restored. This is expected to enhance the ecological outcomes and conditions for populations of native fish, threatened turtles, frog populations, wetland bird habitats, and water dependent vegetation.